One of the promises made in the GOP's "Pledge to America" is that the party will make all legislation available for three days so that legislators can read it for clarity. One can hardly blame them for seeking to confront their own shortcomings! Perhaps they can take that promise further, and actually promise to read the studies that they circulate to the media, especially the ones that actually undermine their professed policies. This is just an idea I had!
See, yesterday morning, the Republican National Committee really wanted to stick it to Democratic legislators for that time they totally punted on holding a vote on the future of the Bush-era tax cuts. And so, they armed themselves with a shiny new study from the Tax Foundation that they thought really aided their criticism. "What excuse will the Democrats use now?"
As it happens, the study compared the actual Dem plan with the GOP one. And it found that for a family of four with an income of $40,000, the Dem plan -- continuing the low end tax cuts, plus the stimulus measures -- would cause a 7.8 percent jump in after-tax income. That jump would only be 6.8 percent under the GOP plan to continue all the Bush tax cuts.
For a single parent with two kids and an income of $20,000, that difference is even more pronounced. The jump is 8 percent under the Dem plan, and only 4.4 percent under the GOP one.
In fairness to the RNC, the study is good for the GOP in one sense. It confirms that the Bush tax cuts were helpful to the poor, despite popular belief that they only helped the rich. But the author of the study, Nick Kasprak, confirms that this finding isn't directly relevant to what Dems have proposed.
"Our study shows that the Bush tax cuts helped the poor a lot more than the popular perception, so the RNC is right to send it around for that reason," Kasprak tells me. "But the study also shows that the Congressional Democrats' plan is more generous to the poor, because it extends certain stimulus provisions into 2011, which the Republican plan does not. That isn't what the RNC wants to show."
Guess they really, really should have read that study, all the way to the end. But now you know whose tax cut plans are more generous to ordinary Americans.